Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is concerned with the nature, development and causes of human variation from an evolutionary perspective, developing many of the integrative themes of Level 2 Human Biology. It encompasses human development, population biology, ecology, cellular biology and genetics. Topics covered include the population biology of human disease, secular trends and the impact of modernisation, population variation and sex differences, social organisation and other life history traits as mediating factors between environment and individual. A series of laboratory/workshop sessions focuses on the study of genetic and phenotypic variations and the use of these techniques in the study of human population biology.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of, and define clearly, questions about human evolutionary biology and ecology, particularly in relation to the processes by which humans adapt to their natural environments; (2) demonstrate familiarity with the basic techniques and tools of biological anthropology; (3) refine skills in independent library research, analytical and synthetic thinking and clear, critical scientific writing; (4) develop skill and confidence in the public exposition of scientific work; and (5) critically assess current scientific publications.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a final theory examination; (2) laboratory question sets; and (3) a tutorial group presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Silvana Gaudieri and Dr Aster Gebremedhin
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
at least 12 points of Level 2 or 3 Biological Science units
Contact hours
lectures: 2 x 1 hour per week (for 12 weeks)
labs/workshops: 1.5 hours per week (for 9 weeks)
tutorials: 1 hour per week (for max. 6 weeks)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.